As the country is reeling under unprecedented socio-economic crisis inflicted by coronavirus, the US Government is leaving no stone unturned to outpace the contagion.
Lately, the US House of Representatives (HoR) have approved a new ‘COVID-19 Relief Package’ totaling USD 484 billion on April 23, 2020.
The legislation is aimed at providing financial support to small businesses, hospitals and the COVID-19 testing strategy.
The bill was approved unanimously by the US Senate who wore masks and entered House chamber in small groups to debate and vote on the bill.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said he will enact the bill immediately.
The funding for the small businesses came on the heels of the recent unemployment report that revealed over 26 million Americans have lost employment in the last five weeks with 4.4 million in last week alone.
The current relief package provides USD 310 billion to the ‘Paycheck Protection Program’ that aims at providing financial support to small businesses so they can keep employees on the payroll.
Earlier, the US Government has allocated USD 349 billion for the program, but the money ran out quickly as many large businesses found ways to gain funds before the small businesses.
So, in order to compensate the inequities in the financial system, the lawmakers decided to channel USD 60 billion of the new funding through local lenders in backward neighborhoods and rural areas.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging America. Small businesses are shuttered. Thousands have died. Millions of Americans are unemployed. Rome is burning. We can either put out the fire or watch our great nation go down in flames,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries during bill proposal.
This is the fourth COVID-19 Response Bill passed by the US Congress to provide financial relief during the unprecedented crisis.
Last month, the US Government has released the largest economic stimulus package in US history, with USD 2 trillion in coronavirus aid.
So far, the coronavirus has infected 886,709 people and claimed 50,243 lives in the USA. Currently, there are 750,544 active cases and 85,922 patients have already recovered and discharged.